Contextual antecedents of informal feedback in the workplace

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Abstract

This study brings together findings from different research angles on informal feedback in the workplace. We explore the individual and joint influences of three contextual antecedents of seeking feedback: support for learning, psychological safety, and work pressure. Based on our survey of 138 employees from various organizations, hierarchical regression analyses revealed that support in the work environment positively influenced the quality of the self-initiated feedback from colleagues and (in particular( from the supervisor. Psychological safety positively related to the quality of the self-initiated feedback from colleagues. No relation was found between support, psychological safety and the frequency of feedback seeking, however, an indication for the existence of a curvilinear effect of work pressure on the frequency of feedback seeking was found. The study highlights the importance of fostering supportive and psychological safe work environments, so that employees and supervisors will look for and give constructive feedback. Learning in organizations can be stimulated by creating enough time and opportunities for informal feedback, and the results suggest several valuable and promising avenues for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-257
Number of pages25
JournalHuman resource development quarterly
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Keywords

  • HELP-SEEKING
  • GOAL ORIENTATION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • PERFORMANCE
  • ENVIRONMENT
  • WORK
  • CONSEQUENCES
  • MANAGEMENT
  • RESOURCE
  • MOTIVES

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